A date with Long Tall Sally

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THE gang’s all here . . . The era is unmistakably the 1950s with every one of the lads wearing a tie and the girls dressed for a special function – but what was the event?

Thanks to Malcolm Healey, a Rastrick lad who now lives in Hampshire, for sending us a copy of this photograph. He thinks the event might have been associated with Field Lane Community Association.

These young people, Philip Court, Anne Forge, Tony Wilcox, Eddie Womersley, Billy Oates, Michael Renshaw and Michael Healey just to name a few were all stepping out into the changing world of the 1950s as the rock and roll era was about to explode on to the music scene.

Music that was to drive the kids wild with enthusiasm, but would equally drive their parents wild for totally different reasons.

Elvis had just gone to No.1 in America with Heartbreak Hotel, his hit first single, while other names the kids were beginning to hear about included Little Richard with Long Tall Sally and Carl Perkins who released Blue Suede Shoes that same year.

While all that was happening in America the No.1s in the UK included Ronnie Hilton with No Other Love, and Winifred Atwell with Poor People of Paris, but with the coming of Tennessee Ernie Ford and Johnnie Ray the kids were beginning to have a taste of what was about to arrive from America with Sixteen Tons and Just Walking in the Rain.

There were big changes taking place in and around Brighouse as well, the new housing estates at Stoney Lane and Field Lane were to be part of a massive house building programme that was to continue up to and including the completion of Whinny Hill Park in the early 1970s.

These estates needed new schools and Field Lane and Cliffe Hill soon followed. I am certainly looking forward to meeting all my old school mates of 50 years ago at the forthcoming reminiscence day.

This is an event designed to give the old school a good send off before the bell is heard for the last time and the old place is demolished and everything transfers to the new school.

On these estates community associations were also something new while a new community centre did eventually open at Field Lane. However, the one which was always said to have been promised for Stoney Lane on the open area opposite the new shops never did arrive.

The Brighouse Co-op was celebrating its centenary in 1956, those were the days when the Co-op Divi was still very important to many Brighouse families.

It was also the period that something else was introduced – self service shopping. Walking round and putting things into a basket, and then paying for the goods as you left. What a novelty, it won’t last, would it?

What huge changes our Saturday night revellers have witnessed over the years from being young teenagers through to what I think we will simply refer to as citizens of mature years.